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Lambiel holds on to world skating title

Lambiel produced an excellent programme at the championships

(Keystone)

Swiss skating star Stéphane Lambiel has retained his world figure skating title with a victory in Calgary, Canada.

Lambiel produced an energetic, almost error-free programme which earned him top marks. His gold medal comes shortly after he won silver at the Winter Olympics in Turin.

France's Brian Joubert gained silver, with the United States' Evan Lysacek coming in at third place.

"I'm so happy with this title," said Lambiel after the competition ended on Thursday evening. "I competed, I fought, I was very confident and my goal today was to skate for myself."

"I had to push myself harder and harder and that's why I did this job. I just thought about my skating and nothing else."

Skating to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the 21-year-old French speaker, who comes from the southern canton of Valais, was the last on the ice.

He saw off a strong performance by rising star Joubert, with an elegant programme that also contained a pair of quadruple jumps and seven triples. The result – a score of 274.22 points.

It was a relief for Lambiel, who despite being in the lead coming into the final competition, had put in a disappointing performance in Wednesday's short programme.

Knee injury

Lambiel said he was particularly pleased with the result as he had almost decided not to compete because of a recurring knee problem.

"I made the decision to come here just ten days ago," he said. "It was very important fro me to come here because the 2010 Winter Olympics will be in Vancouver."

Lambiel's World Figure Skating title follows on from his silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, earlier this year.

This was won by the Russian Evgeni Plushenko, who was not in Calgary.

Thursday's victory is his second world championship after last year's success in Moscow, when he became the first Swiss man to win a figure skating title in more than half a century.

It was Lambiel's first medal in a major competition.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Stéphane Lambiel was born on April 2, 1985 in Martigny, western Switzerland. He now lives in Lausanne.

He completed his A-level equivalents in biology and chemistry in June 2004 but has postponed going to university to work on his skating career. Lambiel is coached by Peter Grütter.

On Thursday Lambiel also launched his own collection of watches, Spinmaster.

end of infobox

Key facts

Men's world figure skating championships Calgary.
First: Stéphane Lambiel (Switzerland)
Second: Brian Joubert (France)
Third: Evan Lysacek (US)

Lambiel retains his title from 2005, when he became the first Swiss man to win the worlds since Hans Gerschwiler in 1947.

end of infobox


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